Canning and freezing garden food for Winter

 Here are my dill pickles canned with hot peppers and garlic just like we like them.

 Tomatoes cooling. After the cool down, I check the seals, remove the rings (these should never be left on), wash the outside of the jars and label before I put them in my pantry.

 Fresh peaches from Livesay Orchards near Porter, Oklahoma.
 Sweet lime pickles. My overall favorite.
 Hot dog relish  is salty and mustard flavored.

 More sweet pickles. I learned to make these from my 
mother-in-law. She was a prolific gardener and canned much.
 Farmer’s market in Muskogee has an awesome array of heirloom tomato varieties.

 Peaches peeled and cut up to freeze.
 Tomatoes in production. These will be wonderful this winter and next spring.

 Cucumber relish is easy to make.
 Sweet lime pickles in soak.

 Peaches for the freezer will make great cobblers all year.

Tomato Bowl

How many fruits have filled this bowl? 
How many tomatoes? How many apples
Were peeled into it’s curves?
Golden honey-scented pears?
How many green beans were served
With new potatoes? Sliced sugary peaches?
Ears of yellow corn? Savory vegetable soup?
How many slices of cantaloupe? Blackberries?
I wonder whose bowl it was before it was mine?
Did she use it to mix a cake
Batter for her son’s seventh birthday?
Did she love it like I do?

Livesay Orchard Peaches

Oh, what a wonderful way to spend a hot July morning–picking peaches at Livesay Orchards in Porter, Oklahoma! It is an experience to pluck those velvety orbs from the low hanging branches and lay them into the peach boxes. This little boy, Christopher Crow, was there for the first time. He was thrilled.

Brenna enjoyed reaching for the prettiest Glo-havens. The box filled too fast.

Aren’t the peaches a pretty picture? They smelled sweet and sugary. We carried them to the car and added them to the boxes of White Queen’s and a bushel of my favorite variety, Lorings, along with three fine stripped watermelons.

The melons thumped just nice and hollow when slapped with the palm of my hand. They had a yellow streak on the underside to show they were vine ripened and the rind felt bumpy promising to be sugary sweet inside.

My friend Joy Crow stayed in the shade wearing her straw hat. I often think I’ll buy a hat for working out in the sun and then I think, “No, I’ll just stay inside.” It was still not one hundred degrees. The morning was nice only about 85, since we went early.

 

Melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, nectarines and plums were sold alongside jars of canned peaches, jams and jellies, pickles and salsa, preserves, and honey.

 Isn’t Christopher cute?

We stopped at the grocery store afterward for my favorite Blue Bell home-style vanilla ice cream and after lunch and a swim in the backyard pool, we ate dishes of ice cream with sliced peaches on top. As my mother-in-law would have said, “It was a large day.”

Livesay Orchard Peaches

Oh, what a wonderful way to spend a hot July morning–picking peaches at Livesay Orchards in Porter, Oklahoma! It is an experience to pluck those velvety orbs from the low hanging branches and lay them into the peach boxes. This little boy, Christopher Crow, was there for the first time. He was thrilled.

Brenna enjoyed reaching for the prettiest Glo-havens. The box filled too fast.

Aren’t the peaches a pretty picture? They smelled sweet and sugary. We carried them to the car and added them to the boxes of White Queen’s and a bushel of my favorite variety, Lorings, along with three fine stripped watermelons.

The melons thumped just nice and hollow when slapped with the palm of my hand. They had a yellow streak on the underside to show they were vine ripened and the rind felt bumpy promising to be sugary sweet inside.

My friend Joy Crow stayed in the shade wearing her straw hat. I often think I’ll buy a hat for working out in the sun and then I think, “No, I’ll just stay inside.” It was still not one hundred degrees. The morning was nice only about 85, since we went early.

 

Melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, nectarines and plums were sold alongside jars of canned peaches, jams and jellies, pickles and salsa, preserves, and honey.

 Isn’t Christopher cute?

We stopped at the grocery store afterward for my favorite Blue Bell home-style vanilla ice cream and after lunch and a swim in the backyard pool, we ate dishes of ice cream with sliced peaches on top. As my mother-in-law would have said, “It was a large day.”

Pickles and Peaches

My jars of sweet pickles spice up the house with the pungency of vinegar, like a sugary clove and vinegar potpourri. The syrup heats up and the pickles boil. Steam rolls up from the open kettle. Then I dip the slices of cucumber hot into the scalded jars and screw on the lids before I lower them into the water bath boiler. When the timer sounds in fifteen minutes, I lift out the quart jars. They dry sparkling clean glass over green. Summer in a jar waiting to spice up winter’s table.

We missed the annual Porter Peach Festival by a week. Yet, when we arrived, the peach barn was crowded anyway, even then, with peach lovers. The harvest was in full swing and I thought how cheerful the crowd was. I love to mingle and watch these people. They are people of character and early risers. They drove miles down dusty dirt roads to get the finest fresh picked peaches from the orchards. They are happy people, go-getters, and enjoy working with their hands. You know their homes are happy places!

In the orchard sale barn, they lift half bushel baskets of sunshine unto wagons and simply glow with happiness as they tow their precious cargo to the checkout. They are visionaries who dream of peach cobblers, and peach pie a la mode, and of peach jam spooned between the halves of hot flaky biscuits.

From between the rows of peach trees, families wearing flushed faces blushing with heat and joy come carrying baskets they have picked themselves. I could see they had fun and wished I had opted to pick my own.

As we drove back into town I noticed that some streets had been named after peach varieties. Picture, if you can, a peach with with each of these luscious, interesting names: Early Star, Autumnglo, Ruston Red, John Boy, Glohaven, Loring, Creasthaven, Encore, Sweet Country, Sunhigh, ConTender, Victoria, Coral Star , Reliance, Bounty, Rich May, and Sweet Dream.

How about Blazing Star, Canadian Harmony, Desiree, Gloria, Ernie’s Choice, Ouachita Gold, and Flamin” Fury?

I felt rich driving away home from the orchard. There is something so wonderful about such bounty.

Pickles and Peaches

My jars of sweet pickles spice up the house with the pungency of vinegar, like a sugary clove and vinegar potpourri. The syrup heats up and the pickles boil. Steam rolls up from the open kettle. Then I dip the slices of cucumber hot into the scalded jars and screw on the lids before I lower them into the water bath boiler. When the timer sounds in fifteen minutes, I lift out the quart jars. They dry sparkling clean glass over green. Summer in a jar waiting to spice up winter’s table.

We missed the annual Porter Peach Festival by a week. Yet, when we arrived, the peach barn was crowded anyway, even then, with peach lovers. The harvest was in full swing and I thought how cheerful the crowd was. I love to mingle and watch these people. They are people of character and early risers. They drove miles down dusty dirt roads to get the finest fresh picked peaches from the orchards. They are happy people, go-getters, and enjoy working with their hands. You know their homes are happy places!

In the orchard sale barn, they lift half bushel baskets of sunshine unto wagons and simply glow with happiness as they tow their precious cargo to the checkout. They are visionaries who dream of peach cobblers, and peach pie a la mode, and of peach jam spooned between the halves of hot flaky biscuits.

From between the rows of peach trees, families wearing flushed faces blushing with heat and joy come carrying baskets they have picked themselves. I could see they had fun and wished I had opted to pick my own.

As we drove back into town I noticed that some streets had been named after peach varieties. Picture, if you can, a peach with with each of these luscious, interesting names: Early Star, Autumnglo, Ruston Red, John Boy, Glohaven, Loring, Creasthaven, Encore, Sweet Country, Sunhigh, ConTender, Victoria, Coral Star , Reliance, Bounty, Rich May, and Sweet Dream.

How about Blazing Star, Canadian Harmony, Desiree, Gloria, Ernie’s Choice, Ouachita Gold, and Flamin” Fury?

I felt rich driving away home from the orchard. There is something so wonderful about such bounty.